CAIRO, October 31 - RAPSI. An Egyptian court has invalidated a gold-mining contract signed in 2004 between the Egyptian government and Australian-based Centamin Egypt, a representative of Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court told journalists on Sunday.

In accordance with the court's resolution, both the contract and an additional agreement were found to be illegitimate. The additional agreement related to a concession issued to Centamin Egypt for the further development of the gold field in the Eastern Desert for the next 30 years, with the right to extend it for another 30 years.

Thus the Egyptian Administrative Court upheld the lawsuit of former Egyptian parliament member Hamdi Al-Fakharani, who sought to have the contract with the Australian company terminated, as he believed it infringed upon the rights of the Egyptian people. Al-Fakharani said that by executing the contract with Centamin Egypt, Egypt loses several million dollars a day.

Centamin PLC is a gold mining company which focuses on the Arabian-Nubian Shield. It has offices in London, UK; Mount Pleasant, Western Australia; and Alexandria, Egypt.

Centamin Egypt mines gold at the Sukari Gold Mine in the Eastern Desert based on the contract it signed with the Egyptian government in 2004. This deposit has proven gold reserves of 52 metric tons, while the projected reserves are at least 10 times larger.

The company's management believes that the termination of the contract between the company and the Egyptian government falls outside of the Supreme Administrative Court's competence. According to the company's statement, business at the mine is being conducted as usual, and gold production will continue.